Orchid is a truly feminine flower. Although one man is known who spent two hours in the morning and evening in his own orchid greenhouse - Nero Wolfe, the hero of Rex Stout's detective novels.
According to the author, the unique detective looked after them very reverently, and orchids brought him not only aesthetic pleasure, but also victories in exotic flower contests in New York. Today, orchids are sold in almost every flower shop, presenting a sophisticated, elegant gift.
Of all types of orchids, the most popular and democratic, both in price and in terms of maintenance, is Phalaenopsis. This sophisticated and delicate flower has one wonderful property: it blooms mainly in winter, and flowering lasts up to six months.
- Basic rules for keeping phalaenopsis
- Secrets of fertilizing phalinopsis
- How to fertilize phalaenopsiss
- When is it time to fertilize?
Basic rules for keeping phalaenopsis
Phalaenopsis varieties sold in stores are planted in transparent pots filled with pieces of pine or pine bark, miniature forms are planted in sphagnum moss. This is the most suitable soil for epiphytic plants. It provides almost natural conditions: Phalaenopsis grow by clinging roots to branches or bark of trees.
The roots need sunlight and good ventilation, so this type of orchid is planted in transparent pots with numerous holes. Some lovers of an exotic flower grow it on a piece of bark - a block. It is better to place a new settler on the west or north window.
Secrets of fertilizing phalinopsis
As a rule, the flower gets to its mistress in a blooming state. How do I save it? The mistake of the novice owner of the phalaenopsis, like any grower, will be the opinion that regular fertilization of the plant will ensure good growth and abundant flowering of the orchid. In order for the plant to please the eye with tight shiny leaves and magnificent flowers, you need to know the intricacies of phalaenopsis fertilization.
- A plant brought from a store and not fertilized for a month: in the name of active flowering, powerful stimulants are used in greenhouses and stores.
- It is better not to fertilize flowering phalaenopsis, if there is no experience - the plant can lose its buds or the flowering period will be very short.
- At different stages of plant development, fertilizers of different compositions should be used.
- Phalaenopsis should be fertilized during active growth of green mass in a week, in winter 1 time per month, when Phalaenopsis is resting - do not fertilize.
- You can fertilize the plant only after watering, on wet roots.
- Do not fertilize a diseased or weakened plant.
- In the cold season and in the summer heat (more than 24 degrees), it is better not to fertilize orchids.
- Complex fertilizers in the form of sticks, granules and tablets cannot be used, since they cannot be evenly distributed in the bark.
- Do not use organic fertilizers.
- It is better to underfeed an orchid than to overfeed.
How to fertilize phalaenopsis
In the assortment of flower shops, you can most likely find a special fertilizer for orchids, but if it is not available, any one for indoor plants will do. When using it, it must be remembered that the roots are on the surface and react very painfully to fertilizer salts (especially the young root tip) and can get burned.
Therefore, the dose of fertilizer for indoor plants should be taken half as much as recommended on the package. The composition of the fertilizer is also indicated on the package and must be understood correctly. Each element has its own meaning in the nutrition, development and health of the plant:
The nitrogen (N) in the fertilizer is responsible for the development of the green mass. Under natural conditions, nitrogen is independently absorbed by the plant. Phosphorus (P) regulates the processes of cell division, the formation of buds and seeds.
Potassium (K) is involved in almost all life processes and ensures normal metabolism.
The optimal potassium content provides the plant with a strong immunity to pests and helps to more calmly tolerate a lack of moisture and a drop in temperature.
In fact, this is far from a complete composition of trace elements: there is also zinc, magnesium, boron and others. But the packaging indicates the content of only three main elements in a certain ratio: N: P: K. Therefore, to build up green mass, it is necessary to increase the amount of nitrogen and select fertilizers with a formula, for example, 8: 3: 5.
During the period of preparation for flowering, that is, when growing peduncles, the plant needs phosphorus and potassium and the fertilizer formula may look like this 2: 6: 6. For orchids, the indicators of the formula N: P: K should not exceed values of 16: 8: 8. The most convenient form of fertilizer for phalaenopsis is liquid. On the packaging, as a rule, it is indicated "1 cap per ...", but how much to pour into this cap - to the thread or to the edges - is not clear.
Phalaenopsis Orchid Video: Post-Purchase Care
In fact, this refers to the level to the end of the internal thread. Without knowing this, it is very easy to increase the recommended fertilizer dose by almost 1.5 times or more. In order to avoid regular overfeeding of the orchid, it is better to use the recommendations of the amount of ml of fertilizer for the specified volume of water and use a syringe or measuring cup.
Experienced orchid lovers often refuse special fertilizers labeled "For Orchids" and use balanced fertilizers, in which N: P: K are contained in equal parts. Foliar feed is used as an alternative to the main feed in a number of cases:
- The root system is damaged, but it is necessary to fertilize the plant
- With chlorosis, that is, a lack of trace elements
- During the period of active growth of the root system in order to avoid burns of delicate roots
Phalaenopsis foliar feeding is carried out in cloudy weather or in the evening at a temperature not lower than 17 degrees. Fertilizer is applied through a spray to the upper and lower part of the leaf, as well as to the visible roots.
When is it time to fertilize?
The plant itself will tell you what it lacks. For example, faded leaves with noticeable redness on the back, curved new shoots indicate a lack of phosphorus (P). Lack of nitrogen (N) is expressed in small flabby leaves with yellowish or light green marbled spots.
A weak tug of the lower leaves and their rapid dying off, the presence of a yellow or white rim on dark green leaves indicate a lack of potassium (K). Love your phalaenopsis and it will give you a beautiful bloom.